Saturday, June 23, 2007

Time of favor

"In an acceptable time I heard you, and on the day of salvation I helped you. Behold, now is a very acceptable time, behold, now is the day of salvation." (2 Corinthians 6: 2)

It appears from the above scripture which the Church uses at the beginning of Lent every year and several times during Lent that there is a time when God makes a special promise to listen to our prayers. That time is variously described as the "acceptable time,"
"in the hour of my favor," and "at the time of my favor." Lent is indeed the acceptable time par excellence. Why? Because Lent provides us the opportunity to exercise faith and obedience to God's word.

If we seek God during Lent through prayer, fasting and alms-giving, we can be sure that our prayers will be answered. The Church believes that Lent is the acceptable time of 2 Corinthians 6: 2. It an excellent time to pray for increased faith, patience, wisdom and humility.

Friday, June 22, 2007

The Power of Preparation 3

"For look, today I have made you into a fortified city, a pillar of iron, a wall of bronze to stand against the whole country: the kings of Judah, its princes, its priests and the people of the country." (Jeremiah 1: 18)

What means is God using to make me into a fortified city, a pillar of iron, a wall of bronze?

  • The Holy Spirit
  • Eucharist
  • Sacrament of Reconciliation
  • Blessed Virgin Mary
  • Rosary
  • Examination of Conscience
  • Word of God
  • Spiritual Direction
  • Communion of Saints
  • Sacramentals


Constant and diligent use of all the above satisfies the injunction to "put on the full armor of God." And little by little, they will transform one into a fortified city, a pillar of iron and a wall of bronze.

Thursday, June 21, 2007

The Power of Preparation 2

"As for you, prepare yourself for action." (Jeremiah 1: 17)

What is entailed in preparation?

  • Gird your loins like a man (Job 38:3; 40: 7)
  • Gird up your loins (2 Kings 4: 29; 9: 1)
  • Gird up your loins and speak to them (Jeremiah 1: 17)
  • Gird up your minds (1 Peter 1: 13)
  • Feet shod with preparation for the Gospel (Ephesians 6: 15)

Message of Jeremiah 1: 17 – 19:

  • Stand firm
  • You will have enemies among the people, including the powerful among them
  • The Lord is more powerful than all of them
  • The Lord will protect you
  • You must be faithful especially in two things:
    • Speak only my words
    • Speak it fearlessly

What does the call to service of Jeremiah 1: 17 – 19 include?

  1. High energy – Prepare yourself for action
  2. Obedience – Speak only what God commands you
  3. Thoroughness – Speak "all" that God commands you
  4. Fearlessness – Cowardice is sin

Note the assurance of Divine protection in Jeremiah 1: 18:

"For it is I this day

who have made you a fortified city,

A pillar of iron, a wall of brass,

against the whole land:

Against Judah's kings and princes,

against its priests and people."


The assurance of Divine protection is given in a succession of strong images so that no one can miss its importance and certainty.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

The Power of Preparation

"As for you, prepare yourself for action." (Jeremiah 1: 17)

That the man of God may be equipped for every good work (2 Timothy 3: 17)

The equipping of the saints for service (Ephesians 4: 12)

Be dressed in readiness with your lamps burning (Luke 12: 35)

Be ready in season and out of season (2 Timothy 4: 2)

Be ready, for he is coming when you least expect (Matthew 24: 44)

Be ready (Luke 12: 40)

I am ready to go to prison and death (Luke 22: 33)

I am ready to die for the Lord Jesus (Acts 21: 13)


Tuesday, June 19, 2007

After many years …

I remembered you this morning when I listened to the Public Radio news. A man talked of Atlanta as the heart of the deep South, hotbed for segregation and discrimination in the past. Did you see some of it while growing up?
Let me see what I can say about the question....
A little background here--Atlanta, along with Memphis, Birmingham, Montgomery, and Selma Alabama, and Greensboro, NC--were where major demonstrations took place during the Civil RIghts movement. ML King was involved in most of these, and Atlanta was his home town, and therefore, the center of the movement. Because of that, the power structure of the time--in an effort to try to keep control of their power, was against anything that King and the other Civil Rights leaders did.

As for me, I was in Kindergarten at the time of the King assassination, and therefore, was quite young during the after effects of the movement.

Things changed slowly--for example, I did not see any black students in my school until I was in the 4th grade, which was around 1972. [Just to give an idea of how things have changed, I am not sure that there are any white students in that school now]. From what I can remember, I was largely "sheltered" from see the effects of discrimination (and if things did happen, I didn't notice). Just to give you an idea of my early experiences with different ethnic groups--both at school and in the neighborhood--an uncle married a lady from Vietnam back in 1971.

Not sure how some in the family accepted her, but most of them that met here got along with here. Though now the uncle is long gone, some of us still keep up with my "auntie"--I see her about every other month. At school, had the first Asian student in my class in 5th grade, and also the first Latino student about the same time. Did not have a black student in a classroom with me until 8th grade. Had central Asian, Middle Eastern, and Caribbean ones around 11 grade. As for my neighborhood (as I still live in the same place I did during my school days)--first black residents around 1973. Did not see much "white flight" in our area then (it was growing "out of fashion" by then, but had seen it in areas closer to downtown years before)--but when the SE Asians moved into our area in the mid 1980s--then a lot of people moved.

Now, my neighborhood is nearly half Asian, almost half as many black (a few of them Caribbean or African), and a few scattered Latino and Anglo (I'm the last one on my block...). As many in the Atlanta area keep moving farther and farther away (not unusual for people who work in Downtown to live some 50 miles away...)--I myself--if I leave where I am--I wouldn't want to go far--I will stay wherever the neighbors will have me!


Monday, June 18, 2007

Be prepared for action

"As for you, prepare yourself for action. Stand up and tell them all that I command you. Have no fear of them and in their presence I will make you fearless. For look, today I have made you into a fortified city, a pillar of iron, and a wall of bronze to stand against the whole country: the kings of Judah, its princes, its priests and the people of the country. They will fight against you but will not overcome you, for I am with you, Yahweh declares, to rescue you." (Jeremiah 1: 17 – 19)

What will be my reaction if I know for certain that the above words are meant for me personally?

First of all, I will seek to understand it more. Then I will thank God for it. I will relish the words and be deeply happy that God has chosen me for his work. I will say to God, "fiat."

Message of Jeremiah 1: 17 – 19:

  • Be prepared (Jude 20)
  • Remain in my word (John 8: 31)
  • Have no fear; be strong; be courageous (Joshua 1:9)
  • I will make you very strong.
  • Expect them to fight against you.
  • They will not overcome you.
  • I am always with you.

Sunday, June 17, 2007

The Lord is my Shepherd

The Lord is my Shepherd

Ps 23:1-3a, 3b-4, 5, 6

R. (1) The Lord is my shepherd; there is nothing I shall want.
The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want.
In verdant pastures he gives me repose;
beside restful waters he leads me;
he refreshes my soul.
R. The Lord is my shepherd; there is nothing I shall want.
He guides me in right paths
for his name's sake.
Even though I walk in the dark valley
I fear no evil; for you are at my side
with your rod and your staff
that give me courage.
R. The Lord is my shepherd; there is nothing I shall want.
You spread the table before me
in the sight of my foes;
you anoint my head with oil;
my cup overflows.
R. The Lord is my shepherd; there is nothing I shall want.
Only goodness and kindness follow me
all the days of my life;
and I shall dwell in the house of the LORD
for years to come.
R. The Lord is my shepherd; there is nothing I shall
On the 17th of March 1997, my birthday, I gave God thanks for his so many blessings. I confided to my journal the following reflection:
“Deo gratias especially for:

• The Holy Spirit
• The call to serve Christ
• Blessed Virgin Mary
• Daily Eucharist
• Patience
• Wisdom
• The Enterprise
• Internet
• Etc
Special gift today: Psalm 23. God has promised to be:
• My support
• My security
• My guide and leader
• My home where I dwell in security”
Ten years later, 2007, all the blessings are holding firm. Thank you again, dear faithful God.